Eugene Field

(2 September 1850 - 4 November 1895 / St Louis / Missouri / United States)

Lydia Dick - Poem by Eugene Field

When I was a boy at college,
Filling up with classic knowledge,
Frequently I wondered why
Old Professor Demas Bently
Used to praise so eloquently
'Opera Horatii.'

Toiling on a season longer
Till my reasoning power got stronger,
As my observation grew,
I became convinced that mellow,
Massic-loving poet fellow
Horace knew a thing or two

Yes, we sophomores figured duly
That, if we appraised him truly,
Horace must have been a brick;
And no wonder that with ranting
Rhymes he went a-gallivanting
Round with sprightly Lydia Dick!

For that pink of female gender
Tall and shapely was, and slender,
Plump of neck and bust and arms;
While the raiment that invested
Her so jealously suggested
Certain more potential charms.

Those dark eyes of her that fired him--
Those sweet accents that inspired him,
And her crown of glorious hair--
These things baffle my description;
I should have a fit conniption
If I tried--so I forbear!

May be Lydia had her betters;
Anyway, this man of letters
Took that charmer as his pick;
Glad--yes, glad I am to know it!
I, a fin de siecle poet,
Sympathize with Lydia Dick!

Often in my arbor shady
I fall thinking of that lady
And the pranks she used to play;
And I'm cheered--for all we sages
Joy when from those distant ages
Lydia dances down our way.

Otherwise some folks might wonder
With good reason why in thunder
Learned professors, dry and prim,
Find such solace in the giddy
Pranks that Horace played with Liddy
Or that Liddy played on him.

Still this world of ours rejoices
In those ancient singing voices,
And our hearts beat high and quick,
To the cadence of old Tiber
Murmuring praise of roistering Liber
And of charming Lydia Dick.

Still, Digentia, downward flowing,
Prattleth to the roses blowing
By the dark, deserted grot;
Still, Soracte, looming lonely,
Watcheth for the coming only
Of a ghost that cometh not.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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